The Huntington University Advancement Office announced that a $700,000 renovation project for Forest Glen Park will break ground May 1, 2015.
President Sherilyn Emberton, Ed.D., believes the task force organized to “bring life” to the field will provide the momentum needed to accomplish the project.
“The opportunity to bring new life to a university landmark facility such as Forest Glen is exciting,” Emberton said. “We remain energized by the work of the task force and look forward to seeing that momentum continue.”
As of Dec. 18, $280,000 had been raised through leadership pledges and gifts from “Friends of Forest Glen.” The project will include building a two-story brick structure behind home plate designated for holding a press box, restrooms, umpire changing room, concession area and training room. A new dugout and backstop along with elevated bleachers allowing for seating behind home plate will be featured, according to the university’s press release.
Vince Haupert, vice president for advancement, said he is looking forward to the renovations.
“We are excited about the possibilities for the future of Forest Glen,” Haupert said. “We look forward to hearing from our HU Baseball Alumni and seeing their participation in making our campus an even more beautiful place.”
One such feature of the renovations would be to use it as a recruitment asset, baseball head coach Mike Frame said. He said many of his prospective players play at facilities that are equal or above the quality of Forest Glen.
“Several of our current players and recruits played or currently play on high school facilities that are as good or better than what we have right now,” Frame said. “These improvements also demonstrate that the school continues to be committed to our student athletes. Huntington University has the reputation of having a very unique baseball facility and these improvements will improve on what is already a strength.”
Haupert said there are more than 10,000 visitors annually to Forest Glen.
The campaign to raise the needed funds will run until March 31, 2015. Groundbreaking is scheduled for May 1, and the renovations should be completed by Homecoming 2015.
With high hopes for the upcoming season, junior outfielder and pitcher Brock Gower said the team feels “very lucky” to have the opportunity for the renovations.
“It will only further help set us apart from other schools in our conference,” Gower said. “We are very lucky and hope this gets people more excited about the baseball program at HU.”
Frame, who notched his 700th career win last season, has high expectations for this year from his team.
“Our talent level is solid,” Frame said. “Our young men are committed, and we have outstanding chemistry. We are still young, but many of our younger players played a lot last year.”
Within the past ten years, the team has won the Crossroads League Tournament Championship three times, first during the 2007-08 season, and then back-to-back titles in 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons.
The baseball team begins their season Feb. 20 against Campbellsville University. Their first home game is at 4 p.m. April 3 against Marian University.